WILD – Fantasy and Architecture

Wäinö Aaltonen Museum (WAM) 2007

As a part of my doctoral studies at the Academy of Fine Arts (University of the Arts, Helsinki) I was given means to curate an exhibition connected to my doctoral work, which was the planning and building of the Life on a Leaf house as a total artwork in Turku. The Wäinö Aaltonen Museum’s director Päivi Kiiski provided me with space – the whole museum – as well as curatorial and financial help. This gave me a fantastic platform to discuss and develop ideas together with the Canadian curator Jen Budney, also interested in the same issues concerning our built environment; that it could be a lot more fantastic. The museum curator Susanna Hujala was also an important member of the team, which had to solve all the problems with bringing here valuable scale models, connecting with artists and architects etc. 

One of our ideas was to invite a few international artists and architects to build a scale model, called Jack in the Box, together. The model would travel and the next in turn continues on top of the earlier.  Then we would build the result in the exhibition. Although we asked the participants to make low key input, the result turned out to be impossibly expensive to build. We made it into an animated video instead.

But the “normal” input for the exhibition tuned out to be fantastic. For example, we had a video installation by Diller Scofidio +Renfro, at that time wild outsiders, who now have grown into major players in the architectural world. Together with Budney we also wrote a book called WILD – Fantasy and Architecture (Unfortunately only in Finnish).

One of the main concepts was to put top end architects on the same starting line as DIY architects and artists doing architecture. Fortunately everyone invited was fine with this concept; to search for fantasy and creativity in architecture from all layers. This is what I am most proud of with this exhibition.

Participants invited to partake in the making of the scale model for Jack-in-the-Box project: Vito Acconci, Rosegarden, Will Alsop, Kim Adams

A. Earthbound  

Various structures by Antonio Gaudi 

Douglas Cardinal’s Museum of Civilization, Canada

Works by Ushida Findlay Partnership

Dragspelhuset (Accordion house) by 24H Architecture 

Various projects by Eugene Tsui 

City Farming Plant Modules by N55 

Hobbit architecture

Classic Rock Architecture of Ferro-Cement

House by Marko Kaiponen

B. Heaven-Bent 

Rudolf Steiner’s model of Goetheanum

Bruno Taut  (and the Glashutte) 

Various structures by Frederick Kiesler 

Works by Erich Mendelsohn 

Works by Hermann Finsterlin

C. Science Fiction 

Douglas Cardinal’s Edmonton Space Science Centre

Vito Acconci’s Island in the Mur, Graz; and Park up a      Building

Mariko Mori’s Spaceship (picture)

UFO Futuro by Mika Taanila (video)

Atelier van Lieshout 

N55’s Microdwelling

The Kunsthaus Graz by Peter Cook (Spacelab      Cook-Fournier) 

Archigram’s Living Pod, Walking City, and other works

Intrapolis by Walter Jonas

D. Displaced Architecture (Jen)

Works by Mikael Genberg such as Hotel Woodpeck  er or Otter Inn

Diller + Scofidio’s Blur House (video) 

Will Alsop:Wakefield Nest 

FAT’s Dysfunctional Suburban Hous

Littoral’s Merz-barn project

Works by Fortunato Depero

E. Fairytales, Myth and Pop 

Will Alsop: Presentation of Rethinking Barnsley

Various works by Rosegarden

Vito Acconci’s Bad Dream House

Drawings by Elsa Beskow

Danielle Jacqui’s La Maison de Celle-Qui-Peint  

FAT’s Kesselskramer, Camo House, and Kill the Modernist Within

Works by Hermann Finsterlin 

James Rizzi house

The ornaments of Victor Horta

Various buildings by Hundertwasser

F. Repetition & Excess 

Richard Greaves’s houses 

Vito Acconci’s Philadelphia Airport Ticketing Terminal

Kurt Schwitters’Merzbau

Interior by Vilho Halmekari

The ornamentation of Louis Sullivan

House of Raymond Isidore

G. Mimesis

Various works by Rosegarden

Vito Acconci’s Model for a Playground and Convertible Clam Shelter

Greg Lynn’s Ark of the World

Jersey Devil Architects: Snail house, Aeroplane house, Football house, etc.

Oldenburg & van Bruggen’s binocular project with Frank Gehry

Jersey Devil Architecture